Promised Land, the new film about fracking directed by Gus Van Sant 75 FAV, opened at the end of December and initially got more attention for addressing such a hot-potato issue than for how the film is made.
But this week’s New Yorker calls the film “heartfelt and clear-minded,” crediting Gus for being “good at the everyday stuff” and for not resorting to “magic” or “glowing light” to make his point.
The New York Times noted that “Mr. Van Sant’s style of directing – watchful and low-key – puts character ahead of story, and the script invites the actors [including its star and co-writer Matt Damon] to be warm, funny and prickly.”
In this interview in Vanity Fair, Gus talks about working with Damon 15 years after first directing him in Goodwill Hunting. And when asked his “secret” to filming the successful open-mic scene of John Krasinski singing a Bruce Springsteen cover, he said, essentially: “Make it real.”
The founder of the internationally-known puppet troupe just returned from Turin, Italy, where he hosted a creature-making workshop at the VIEW Conference, a forum for graphic designers, animators and special effects professionals. There, Pinque demonstrated how the camera-ready (and easy-to-wear) Big Nazo costumes are influencing new media and filmmakers.
For instance, two puppets made by RISD students star in a music video shot for The Stepkids’ latest single Sweet Salvation. In the short, Pinque’s unearthly monsters bob, weave and eat human limbs while a scruffy frontman croons in the background.
Big Nazo is lending some of its imagination to the medical field, too. According to the Providence Journal, the puppet-designers made a custom “girth suit” to help train staff how to move patients safely.
What will Big Nazo’s spindly fingers get into next? We’re excited to find out!
Between the release of Ted in July and the media frenzy leading up to it, the upcoming revival of Cosmos and anchoring this season’s premier of Saturday Night Live, the multitalented Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane 95 FAV seems essentially unstoppable. Next up for the master voice actor, singer and comedian: hosting the Oscars on February 24.
photo by Sandor Bodo for The Providence Journal
An article in yesterday’s Providence Journal looks at RISD’s Film/Animation/Video department, mostly through the lens of grads who are making it in Hollywood – people like Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson 79 FAV, Family Guy guy Seth MacFarlane 95 FAV, The Legend of Korra co-creator Michael DiMartino 96 FAV and a handful of others. Michael told the ProJo that at RISD he “really learned how to become a filmmaker and think about all parts of the process – storytelling, animation, sound, etc…. This gave me a big advantage once I started working in the animation industry.”
Director Gus Van Sant 75 FAV (Milk, Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, My Own Private Idaho) is one of the groundbreaking filmmakers featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey, as the New York Times noted this week.
Clocking in at a butt-numbing 15 hours, the documentary by Mark Cousins is an epic ode to the history of the medium showing at MoMA ’til right after Valentine’s Day.
Last week HUGO, the Martin Scorsese film that relies on the behind-the-scenes talents of two RISD alumni, was nominated for a whopping 11 Academy Awards – the most of any movie this year. And yesterday CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment featuring the source of the story itself: author/illustrator Brian Selznick 88 IL.
In the segment, Brian talked about his fascination with automatons and shared sketches showing how he developed his Caldecott Medal-winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which inspired Scorsese to make the popular movie).
The piece complemented CBS’ interview with Scorsese, who has already pocketed a Golden Globe for best director after heeding his wife’s advice to consider making a movie based on Brian’s book.
In addition, our favorite cinematographer, the brilliant Robert Richardson 79 FAV, has earned his seventh Academy Award nomination for his work on HUGO, which was a 3D first for both him and Scorsese.